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1. The Embassy operations during COVID-19 Pandemic

The Embassy opened its doors for in person services but strictly on appointment basis on 19th October 2020 after several months of lockdown. Though this arrangement was aimed at mitigating against the spread of covid-19 by ensuring social distancing in line with CDC protocols and the order of the Mayor of Washington D.C, the move has caused a backlog of work at the Embassy due to limited number of persons being served per day. The Embassy however, has a contingency plan for attending all urgent/emergency cases.

2. Where can one get consular services in US?

There are 3 offices in the USA offering consular services namely Kenya Embassy in Washington DC and the Consulates in New York and Los Angeles. All consular services are well explained in the Embassy website: Washington DC and Kenya consulate in LA are currently the only centers in the USA where Kenyans can apply for the issuance of e-passport. The service is strictly by appointment as the Embassy is conforming to the CDC guidelines and the orders by the Mayor of Washington DC to mitigate against the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. Appointment slots will be increased as the situation unfolds. The Embassy is however exploring ways in which the service can also be cascaded to the consulate in New York. Nevertheless, persons who are in urgent need of Kenya passports are encouraged to write to the Embassy through immi[email protected] explaining why the urgency/emergency.

3. Validity of blue Passport

The Government of Kenya has recently extended the validity of the dark blue machine readable passport period to November, 2022. Kenyans are therefore requested to take advantage of the extension and apply for e-passports as this might be the government’s final extension. It is important to note that Kenyans whose passports have expired can apply for the issuance of emergency travel documents in DC, NY or LA.

4. Issuance of Kenyan ePassports abroad

Currently, there several stations outside Kenya processing epassports, this includes Washington DC, Los Angeles Consulate, London, Berlin, Paris, Dubai and Pretoria. The Washington office is serving USA, Mexico, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean.

5. Issuance of the Kenyan ID cards in US

This Service is currently available in DC, NY and LA. Just like passport, this service is at the moment available strictly on appointments as it involves close contact. First time applicants and Kenyans who have lost their IDs are encouraged to apply for it now.

6. Use of a third party to collect biometrics on behalf of Kenya

The collection of biometrics is a sensitive process that has security bearing. Consequently, the use of third party to collect biometric may not be feasible due to necessary security precautions.

7. Regaining Kenya citizenship and Dual Citizenship disclosure

Kenyans who were born before 27 August 1987 and had acquired other citizenship before 27 August 2010 (the date of promulgation of COK, 2010) are deemed to have lost their Kenyan citizenship and hence are required to apply to regain their Kenyan citizenship under the provision of Article 14(5) of COK, 2010. Elsewhere, all Kenyans who are Dual citizens and above the age of maturity are required to file an application for Dual citizenship disclosure. All duly signed applications can be mailed to DC, NY or LA for onward transmission to Nairobi for processing.

8. Consular outreach programmes

The Embassy paused the programmes of visiting large metropolitan cities with huge population of Kenyans to offer consular services after the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. However, once the situation eases, the Embassy will restore the visits.

9. COVID-19 requirements for travel to Kenya

Please check the link for updated information: COVID-19 Requirements for travel to Kenya – Kenya Embassy Washington D.C. (

10. What is the role of the Embassy in repatriation of the remains of a Kenyan and the paperwork needed?

The Embassy issues no objection letter for the transportation of the remains of Kenyans who passes on, including cases due to COVID-19 complications.

11. What are the requirements for registration of a group/organization with the Embassy?

The following are requirements for registration of a Diaspora group/organization with the Embassy:

    1. Address
    2. Registration certificate ( for the registered organizations)
    3. Copy of the articles of association/ constitution
    4. Nature of the group; church, business focus or welfare etc
    5. Leadership
    6. Membership
    7. Contacts ( telephone numbers, website, emails, etc)
    8. Any other relevant information

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a) Can one get visa on arrival?

The issuance of visas on arrival was stopped with effect from January 1, 2021 as a measure to mitigate against the spread of COVID -19 at Kenya entry points (to reduce overcrowding). Kenyans who are dual citizens should hence apply for their visas well in advance through the ecitizen online portal Children below 16 years of age are currently exempted from the necessity of obtaining Kenya visas.

b) Do I need a visa for Kenya? Where do I get the visa?

Visas can only be obtained at The Consular section page has more information under visas. NB. The websites listed below might be for scammers and are NOT affiliated to the Kenya Government in any way. PLEASE DO NOT APPLY FOR E-VISA THROUGH THEM.


c) How long does it take to process a visa?

  • Single Entry visa, East Africa Visa and Transit Visa applications once successfully submitted online are issued within 5 working days
  • Referral Visa and Multiple Entry Visa cases may take up to 6 weeks or more to get approved/rejected

d) Do I need a Multiple Entry Visa if I wish to re-enter Kenya after travelling to another Country?

You can use the same Single Entry visa to re-enter Kenya from Tanzania or Uganda within the validity period of your Kenyan stay. However if you are re-entering from another country, you will need to apply for another visa.

e) I am travelling to Kenya to work as an intern / volunteer or take up employment. What kind of visa do I need?

You will need a Single Entry Visa to Kenya but have to apply and be issued with the necessary permits/passes before commencing your work in Kenya. The permits/ Passes have to be applied for directly at the Directorate of Immigration, Nairobi though the website

f) I applied for an evisa and have not received it.

Login to your evisa account and download the visa directly from there. If your status reads processing after 7 days, check if you have to make any correction and resubmit your application.

g) I cannot log into my evisa account.

Contact [email protected]


Does the Embassy offer scholarship or any special assistance to students in America and Mexico?

At the moment, the Embassy does not offer either scholarships or education grants to Kenyans in Diaspora.


  1. Can I import seeds to the USA

Movements of seeds across the borders are highly regulated and may require permits because of the threat of plant diseases, pests, and toxic weeds. For details contact US department of agriculture. Animal and Plant Inspection Service:” [email protected] and for other general information visit

2. Can I take seeds from the USA to Kenya?

Kenya also regulates the importation of seeds from any borders/outside source. For plant export contact [email protected] or in Kenya contact [email protected] or [email protected]. You can also obtain additional information by visiting

3. What commercial services can I obtain at the Embassy?

You can get information on the following:

    • Investment opportunities
    • Investment promotion agencies
    • Information on tourism

4. How do I a register a company in Kenya?

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Company registration processes are now online and must be done on the E-Citizen platform. Payment is made via electronic means such as mobile money, credit or debit cards for details go to

5. How do I register for a PIN?

Pin Registration is an online process done via iTax system which is available on the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) website.

6. Do I still file my tax returns while I am abroad in the USA?

So long as you have a PIN, you are obliged to file your tax returns and pay your taxes via iTax on or before the due date.

7. Are you a returning resident?

You are allowed, among other items, one motor vehicle (excluding buses and minibuses) into the country duty free subject to the following conditions:

    • You must have resided outside Kenya for at least twelve (12) months.
    • You must have personally owned and used the motor vehicle outside Kenya for at least twelve months.
    • The motor vehicle must not be older than 8 years.
    • You must have attained the age of eighteen years. You must not have been granted a similar exemption previously.


Items that may be exempted when imported as baggage by a returning resident are:

    • Wearing apparel
    • Personal and household effects which were in your personal or household use in your former place of residence

8. Left Hand Drive Vehicles for Returning Residents

A Kenyan Resident returning from a country that operates Left Hand Drive (LHD) motor vehicles shall be allowed to import a replacement Right Hand Drive (RHD) vehicle from any other source subject to the following conditions:

    • The person must be bona fide changing residence (Permanently) from a place outside Kenya and not merely making temporary visits back home.
    • The person must fulfill all the requirements for importation of personal and household effects by a returning resident as outlined under paragraph 5 of part B of the 5th schedule to the east African Community Customs Management Act, 2004.
    • The returning resident must proof that he/she owned and personally used a LHD vehicle in the country of former residence for a period of at least one year, prior to his/her return.
    • The returning resident must provide proof of disposal (Transfer of ownership) of the previous owned LHD vehicle before changing residence from the former country of residence.
    • The current retail selling price (CRSP) of the RHD replacement vehicle shall not exceed that of previously owned LHD vehicle.
    • Both the previously owned LHD vehicle and the RHD replacement vehicle shall not be of any of the following categories:
      • Bus or Minibuses of a seating capacity of more than 13 passengers
      • Load carrying vehicles of load carrying capacity exceeding two tones

These guidelines shall only apply to residents returning from countries that operate LHD motor vehicles who had previously owned and used a LHD vehicle in the country of former residence.

Required Documents:

Supporting documents should be attached including but not limited to:

    • Passport – original, (if issued within last 2 years, the old passport is also required)
    • Residence Visa/Work Permit – original
    • PIN Certificate obtained through the Kenya Revenue Authority
    • Bill of Lading/Air Waybill original
    • Comprehensive Valued Inventory 3 copies, detailed per box /boxes numbered, signed by owner
    • Comprehensive Packing List
    • Authority letter Nominating a licensed custom clearing agent to act on their behalf
    • Original logbook from country of importation in case of motor vehicle

More information is available on:

9. How do I invest in Kenya?

Kenya has highly formalized structures that facilitate investment. Your first stop should be at the Embassy where you will be guided appropriately at no cost.

10. What are the investment opportunities available?

Our website gives a list of the areas that opportunities are available. Kenya’s investment promotion agency Keninvest ( also provides specific projects opportunities. Enquiries can also be directed to the agency i.e. [email protected]

11. Can the Embassy assist in shipping of donations such as medical equipment and books

No, donations into the Kenya are taxable unless exempted by the National Treasury and provisions of the 5th Schedule of the East African Community Customs Management Act.



  1. Laws governing child adoption in Kenya

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Both the Constitution and the Children’s Act are instructive in matters of child adoption in Kenya. In any matter concerning a child, the child’s best interests are of paramount importance as set out under Article 53 (2) of the Constitution.

Section 4 of the Children’s Act also stipulates that in all actions concerning children whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.

The High Court is vested with the jurisdiction to make adoption orders pursuant to Section 154 of the Children’s Act. Children matters are heard in chambers for purposes of protecting the identity of the child and that of the adoptive parent (s).

2. Requirements

The following documents are required when an adoption is being pursued:

a. The child’s birth certificateb. If the child is a school going child, a copy of the school progress reportc. A children officers reportd. Death certificate if the child’s parents are deceasede. Chief’s letterf. Copies of identification documentation of prospective adoptive parentsg. Marriage certificate for the couple wishing to adopth. Medical report of the adoptive parenti. Proof of financial status such as bank statements and pay slipsj. Proof of home ownershipk. Birth certificates of any children the adoptive parent may havel. Certificates of good conduct.

3. Time taken to complete an adoption process

The average time for an adoption is 6 months.

4. Eligibility for Adopting a Child

a. The child to be adopted must be at least six (6) weeks old and been declared free for adoption by a registered adoption society. No individual or other body of persons, other than a registered adoption society, can legally make any arrangement for the adoption of a child. Informal adoptions are illegal and constitute an offense under the Act.b. Any child who is resident within Kenya may be adopted whether or not the child is a Kenyan citizen, or was/was not born in Kenya.c. Under section 157 (1) of the Act, an application for an adoption order can only be made if the child concerned has been in the continuous care and control of the applicant (adopter) within Kenya for three (3) consecutive months preceding the filing of the application.d. An adoption order may be made upon the application of a sole applicant or jointly by two spouses.e. The applicant or at least one of the joint applicants must have attained the age of 25 years and be at least 21 years older than the child but should not have attained the age of 65 years. Note, however, that the age requirements are not mandatory where the applicant is the mother or father of the child or is otherwise a relative of the child.

5. Persons not allowed to adopt in Kenya

Section 158 (3) of the Children’s Act, prohibits the making of an adoption order in favor of an applicant who:

a. is not of sound mind within the meaning of the Mental Health Act (Cap. 248); orb. has been charged and convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction for any of the offences set out in the Third Schedule to the Act or similar offences. The prescribed offences generally include defilement, sexual offences, immoral behavior, attempt to procure an abortion, unnatural offences and assault.c. is a homosexual; Homosexuality is illegal in Kenya hence the prohibition of gay persons from adopting children.d. in the case of joint applicants, if they are not married to each other; ore. is a sole foreign male applicant.

6. Consents needed for adoption in Kenya

Consents that will be needed before the adoption is finalized include:

a. The child’s consent if he or she is 14 years and aboveb. Consent of guardians/ parents or the person with whom parental responsibilities lie withc. Consent of the courts or relevant government authorities from their country in case of non-residents.

There are certain instances where consent for adoption can be withheld:

a. First is when the parents or guardians are untraceable because the child was abandonedb. It is also possible to withhold consent if spouses are permanently separated

7. The Application Process

a. A prospective adopter forwards an application for adoption to the registered adoption society.b. The society obtains a social worker who makes an appointment to visit the applicant’s home for purposes of knowing the prospective adopter better and to assess his accommodation to determine its suitability for the child.c. After the visit, the social worker makes a report of his assessment in the form prescribed under the Schedule to the Adoption Regulations.d. The adoption society also makes arrangements to obtain a medical report on the health of both the child and the adopter in the prescribed forms.e. The case committee of the adoption society vets the application together with the social worker’s report and the health report of the child and the adopter.f. The Committee then makes a decision to approve the application or to defer or reject the same with stated reasons.g. The approval intimates that the child is free for adoption and approves the adopter.h. Once the adopter has been approved by the case committee, the adopter is required to read and understand the explanatory memorandum for adopters prescribed in the Regulations and sign the certificate of acknowledgement attached to the memorandum.i. Upon approval of the application, the child is delivered into the care and possession of an adopter by or on behalf of an adoption society.j. The child is visited in the first month and at least once in every three months thereafter by a representative of the society, who reports on the case to the case committee.k. The committee may recommend appropriate action to be taken in the event that the child is not being taken care of properly.l. The adopter makes an application for an adoption order to the High Court of Kenya.m. The court may on its own motion or upon the application of the adopter, appoint a guardian ad litem for the child pending the hearing and determination of the adoption application.n. The court may reject the application. The adopter may appeal the decision to the Court of Appeal.o. The court may grant the adoption order which is then registered by the Registrar-General through making an entry in the Adopted Children Register.

8. International (Inter-country) adoptions in Kenya

On 27th November 2014, the Government declared an indefinite moratorium on Inter-country adoption of Kenyan children to foreigners.

The decision was informed by Kenya’s ranking by the Global Report on Trafficking in persons 2014, that had the United Nations Office on drugs and crime cite Kenya as a source, transit & destination country in human trafficking.

9. Adoption Agencies in Kenya

  1. Buckner Kenya Adoption Services –
  2. Kenya Children’s Home –
  3. Child Welfare Society of Kenya
  4. Kenyans to Kenyans Peace Initiative –
  5. Little Gems Agency
  6. Little Angels Network –

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